Seahawks 17

(2-5, 0-3 away)

Cowboys 38

(5-2, 3-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, November 1, 2009

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX 

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 3 7 0 717
DAL 7 14 14 338

Top Performers

Passing: T. Romo (DAL) - 256 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: J. Jones (SEA) - 15 CAR, 56 YDS

Receiving: N. Burleson (SEA) - 6 REC, 89 YDS

Romo plays third straight interception-free game as Cowboys move to 5-2

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- All offseason, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys thought about their horrendous finale in Philadelphia. Now they're headed back, playing so well that they've turned this return trip into a showdown to decide first place in the NFC East.

Austin is Capital of Texas

Miles Austin has had a stellar three weeks since entering the Cowboys' starting lineup. He had five catches for 61 yards and a TD against the Seahawks. He now has 482 receiving yards in his first three starts, the most receiving yards of any player in his first three starts since the NFL-AFL merger.

Year Player, team Yds
2009 Miles Austin, DAL 482
2003 Anquan Boldin, ARI 378
1999 Marcus Robinson, CHI 377
1978 Dave Stief, STL 361

-- ESPN Stats and Information

Romo threw touchdown passes to three receivers, including his new favorite target Miles Austin, and didn't have an interception for a career-best third straight game, leading the Cowboys to a 38-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday and into a tie with the Eagles for the division lead.

Dallas (5-2) went ahead on its second series and never let up thanks to the kind of consistency coach Wade Phillips has been seeking. Austin scored for a third straight game, DeMarcus Ware had a sack for a third straight game and Patrick Crayton returned a punt for a touchdown for the second straight week. Most importantly, the Cowboys made it three straight wins and four in their last five games.

"I feel good about the progress we've made, but we've still got a ways to go," Phillips said.

Fast Facts

• Tony Romo threw for 256 yards and three TDs (his 16th career game with three-plus passing TDs) to lead the Cowboys to their third straight win. Romo has eight TDs and zero INTs in his last three games, the first time in his career as a starter he has gone three straight games without a pick.

• After recording 421 receiving yards in his last two games, Miles Austin was held to just 61 (still a team-high) against the Seahawks, though he did record a TD for the third straight game.

• Patrick Crayton returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown, his second straight week with a punt return score after having none in his career to that point.

• Matt Hasselbeck had 249 yards and two TDs through the air to lead the Seahawks, who have lost five of their last six.

• Seattle is 2-5 through seven games for the second straight season. It finished 4-12 last year.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Last December, Dallas could've clinched a playoff spot with a win in Philadelphia. Instead, the Cowboys weren't even competitive, losing 44-6 in a game that led to offseason changes ranging from Terrell Owens getting cut to defensive coordinator Brian Stewart getting fired.

Romo came away dedicated to being more careful with his passes, and it seems to be paying off. Better than three straight interception-free games is that he's done it five times this season. That's more than he's ever done in an entire season and there are nine games left.

"Shock!" he said with a smirk. "I'm seeing things. It's as simple as that. I'm not throwing and hoping."

Romo was 21 of 36 for 256 yards, hitting 10 receivers, with the touchdowns going to Austin (3 yards), Roy Williams (7) and Sam Hurd (36, putting Dallas ahead for good at 7-3). Marion Barber added a 2-yard TD run and Crayton's game-breaking return covered 82 yards, 9 more than his game-breaking score the previous week.

Austin continued his emergence with five catches for 61 yards. He might've had more yards if Marcus Trufant hadn't interfered with him twice. But Austin wasn't perfect; he fumbled at the end of an end-around run (he recovered it) and failed to get over the crossbar on a celebratory dunk after his touchdown. Teammates got a good laugh out of it.

Dallas' defense contributed three sacks and forced a fumble when the game was close, preventing Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks (2-5) from building on an early 3-0 lead. The Cowboys have 17 sacks in the last 18 quarters after being shut out the first 10 quarters. Ware is up to five sacks, this one coming days after signing a $78 million, six-year contract extension.

"I'm just glad to see as many people really do as well and play as well as they did today," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "[Philadelphia] is the kind of game that I think we're ready for. ... Plus, I think we all remember so much -- I know I do and so many players on this team remember -- how we left Philadelphia last year."

Seattle was coming off its bye and had Trufant recovered from a back injury for the first time all season. The Seahawks were within 14-10 late in the second quarter, but did little right after that, trailing 38-10 before getting a short touchdown after Romo fumbled inside his 10-yard line.

Hasselbeck was 22 of 39 for 249 yards, with touchdown passes to Deion Branch and Justin Griffith. A bigger problem was that a defense determined to pressure Romo sacked him only twice.

"We put two weeks into this game plan. I felt like we were ready," Hasselbeck said. "We just didn't get it done. .... I feel physically drained, emotionally drained. I'm frustrated. We're all searching for answers."

Seattle's lone star was linebacker David Hawthorne, who had both of the club's sacks and forced Romo's fumble. It was a nice homecoming for the native of nearby Corsicana and a product of nearby TCU. He had a lot of friends and family here, including a sister who is on the game-day staff at Cowboys Stadium.

Game notes

Hurd's TD was his first from scrimmage since the 2007 opener. ... Seattle CB Ken Lucas (shoulder) didn't return after a third-quarter collision with Dallas' Felix Jones. ... Romo won his 12th straight November start.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1826
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6467
Total Yards308362
Yards per play4.85.4
Total Drives1312
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-13-3
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

seaFG7:03Olindo Mare 43 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 14 plays, 69 yds, 5:58
dalTD3:23Sam Hurd 36 Yard Pass From Tony Romo (Nick Folk Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 78 yds, 3:46
dalTD13:30Marion Barber 2 Yard Run (Nick Folk Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 30 yds, 3:26
seaTD10:31Deion Branch 23 Yard Pass From Matt Hasselbeck (Olindo Mare Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yds, 3:01
dalTD0:40Roy Williams 7 Yard Pass From Tony Romo (Nick Folk Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 65 yds, 3:21
dalTD2:44Miles Austin 3 Yard Pass From Tony Romo (Nick Folk Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 62 yds, 5:13
dalTD1:30Patrick Crayton 82 Yard Punt Return (Nick Folk Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 82 yds, 0:00
dalFG11:03Nick Folk 40 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 41 yds, 3:51
seaTD8:46Justin Griffith 4 Yard Pass From Matt Hasselbeck (Olindo Mare Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 8 yds, 0:34